Arsenal 5-1 Everton: Player ratings as Gunners finish season in style | OneFootball

Arsenal 5-1 Everton: Player ratings as Gunners finish season in style

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90min

Arsenal cruised to victory over Everton on the final day of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign, but victory for Tottenham over Norwich ensured it was only good enough for fifth place and Europa League qualification – but still an improvement on last season.

The Gunners were dominant throughout at the Emirates Stadium and a Gabriel Martinelli penalty got the ball rolling, before Eddie Nketiah made it 2-0 after half an hour.

First half substitute Donny van de Beek did pull one back for Everton, but Cedric Soares and Gabriel netted in quick succession in the second half to avoid any sort of comeback. Martin Odegaard then capped it off for the hosts with a fifth in the closing stages.

Well aware of the job they needed to do, Arsenal started like a team desperate for a win and were playing with intensity and high tempo looking for a quick way through. Odegaard had the best of the earliest chances when Michael Keane blocked in the six-yard box.

Martinelli should have put Arsenal ahead just over 10 minutes in when the ball broke to him. But his shot was almost too well hit and struck the body of stand-in goalkeeper Asmir Begovic rather than attempting to find one of the corners.

Everton were completely pinned in for much of the first 20 minutes, although Demarai Gray had a chance to put his team ahead against the run of play. In the end, he lacked composure to lift the ball over Aaron Ramsdale off his line.

The Gunners were well worthy of the breakthrough goal, coming from Martinelli’s composed penalty. Former Arsenal man Alex Iwobi thought he had got away with blocking the Brazilian’s fierce shot, leaning into it with his arm slightly away from his body. But VAR caught him out.

The second Arsenal goal only four minutes later won’t have pleased Frank Lampard. It was too easy for Martinelli to flick on a near-post corner and even easier for Nketiah to nod in a few yards out.

Everton halved the deficit in first-half stoppage time out of nowhere. Arsenal had seen a couple of chances to make it 3-0 go begging, with the Toffees then rewarded for Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s persistence – his low cross amid minimal Arsenal pressure was turned in by Van de Beek.

Lampard’s side took confidence from that goal and competed a little better after the restart. But it didn’t last and two more poorly defended set pieces in quick succession took the game away from them around the hour mark.

First it was Cedric with an emphatic first-time finish from the edge of the box after Saka had the intelligence to pull his low corner back away from the crowd. Almost immediately it was Gabriel, whose powerful shot was too much for Begovic despite getting hands to it – Everton had cleared the initial danger only as far as Cedric, who put his teammate in on goal.

Arsenal were in cruise control after that points as both sides accepted their lot.

There was a nice moment for Alexandre Lacazette, given the final 23 minutes plus stoppage time for what is likely to have been his last game for the club, handed the captain’s armband to boot.

Odegaard’s late fifth was the pick of the bunch – and actually the only Arsenal goal from open play. The Norwegian received the ball from substitute Nicolas Pepe on the edge of the box, jinked inside and then ever so delicately stroked it into the far bottom corner.

1. Arsenal (4-2-3-1)

Gabriel Martinelli scored from the penalty spot / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

GK: Aaron Ramsdale - 6/10 - Largely a spectator.RB: Cedric Soares - 8/10 - Got forward really well and was essentially an extra attacker. Good delivery into the box and deserved his goal and assist.CB: Rob Holding - 6/10 - Will have tougher tests that this one. Arguably on his heels when Everton scored.CB: Gabriel - 7/10 - Didn't cover himself in glory when Everton pulled their goal back. Made up for it with a goal of his own.LB: Nuno Tavares - 7/10 - Similar story to Cedric, albeit a little more raw and erratic with his final ball.CM: Mohamed Elneny - 6/10 - Functional performance. Let the more creative players ahead of him get on with it.CM: Granit Xhaka - 6/10 - Again, did his job. Withdrawn with 30 minutes left.RM: Bukayo Saka - 8/10 - Played with confidence and was heavily involved in most of Arsenal's best opportunities.AM: Martin Odegaard - 9/10 - Found good spaces between the lines to pull creative strings. The cherry on top of his performance was his exceptionally composed goal near the end.LM: Gabriel Martinelli - 8/10 - Denied a great early chance by Begovic. Confidently scored from the spot and assisted the second with his head.ST: Eddie Nketiah - 7/10 - Got an easy goal to double Arsenal's lead and linked up well with Saka in particular.SUB: Albert Sambi Lokonga (63' for Xhaka) - 6/10SUB: Alexandre Lacazette (67' for Nketiah) - 6/10SUB: Nicolas Pepe (77' for Saka) - 6/10

2. Everton (3-4-2-1)

Donny van de Beek came off the bench in the first half / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

GK: Asmir Begovic - 4/10 - Beaten four times. Definitely should have done better with the fourth.CB: Jarrad Branthwaite - 4/10 - Noticeably not strong enough in a one-on-one moment against Saka in the first half.CB: Michael Keane - 3/10 - Not commanding at all. This defence needs a leader, particularly at set-pieces, and it isn't him.CB: Mason Holgate - 4/10 - Needed to be better with his distribution.RWB: Alex Iwobi - 4/10 - Can have no complaints about conceding the penalty - he leaned into the ball with his arm away from his body.CM: Abdoulaye Doucoure - 3/10 - Not in the game at all and was withdrawn in the first half. Didn't look as though he had an injury.CM: Tom Davies - 4/10 - Passing wasn't good enough.LWB: Jonjoe Kenny - 4/10 - Really pinned in by the excellent Cedric.AM: Dele Alli - 4/10 - His past Spurs connections meant a hostile reception. Struggled to get a look in.AM: Demarai Gray - 5/10 - Lacked composure with Everton's first proper chance. Usually involved in rare attacks.ST: Dominic Calvert-Lewin - 6/10 - Spent a lot of time isolated but Everton's goal was born out of his persistence.Got into a good position to score and was an improvement on Doucoure.

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